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Replacement bridge for Wilkinson TW-5?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Cheers, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. Cheers


    Jan 10, 2007

    I feel that its the time to replace some of the bridge parts in my Carvin LB75. Here's how my problem looks like:


    As you can see, the plate is pretty worn up by now. And whenever I play for longer than 10mins, some of the 'screws' in the saddles move by themselves? Causing them to buzz.

    I recently maintenanced the bridge by myself, I put a piece of paper underneath the bridge saddles and moved them as close to each other - most of the buzzing has dissappeared and I rarely need to adjust it anymore. But it sure does look ugly!

    I'm wondering should I buy a completely new bridge, or can I get replacement parts for this one? Carvin used these bridges from 92 to 97 (if I'm not mistaken). I searched through google and couldnt find a place where they'd sell these anymore

  2. Cheers


    Jan 10, 2007
    Anyone have any thoughts?
  3. tink9975


    Aug 10, 2006
    MoCo, MD
    Im thinking of replacing the Wilkenson on my LB75. I was thinking about getting a Hipshot from Carvin. I'll have do drill new holes, my only concern is will the new bridge cover the holes from the old bridge. The 2 screws in front of the saddles (at the corners) are the concern there
  4. Liko


    Mar 30, 2007
    A little non-permanent threadlocker ought to set those saddle screws in place. Blue Loc-Tite is non-permanent but holds well; green flows better and is suitable for narrower threads and smaller screws, like your saddle screws, but is weaker than blue. Either one ought to work just fine. DO NOT USE RED; in all but the most industrial applications it should be regarded as permanent. I'd use blue to give it a little extra strength unless you find that the hold is too strong for a small allen wrench to break. I would not use CA (superglue) unless you were ABSOLUTELY SURE you will never move the saddles again, because you will have to remove the saddles and soak them in acetone for weeks to break the superglue down.

    The poor man's threadlocker, in addition to being a good rust inhibitor on screw heads and pickup poles, is clear nail polish. $5 at the corner drugstore, paint the threads, put the screw in place and wipe off any excess. When it dries you have a screw that won't loosen with vibration, but easily comes out with an allen wrench. As I mentioned, you can also paint this on exposed polepieces and pickguard screws to inhibit rust, and in the case of polepieces it reduces or eliminates the loud clicking you can get when the strings touch the polepieces. The advantage of LocTite over nail polish is that nail polish dries more brittle, while Loc-Tite dries flexible and therefore handles vibration better.

    As far as the bridge being "beaten up", I'd expect no less from a 10-year-old black powdercoat bridge. You'd still see wear on a Hipshot bridge, or a chrome one for that matter (though the chrome scratches and wear wouldn't be as obvious). With the saddles over the spots where their screws have worn through the powdercoat there's no sign of wear from 4 feet away. I say keep the bridge. it looks like a hefty-enough piece of metal, and once you solve your problem with the screws loosening I don't see why it won't last you another 10 years.
  5. whoapower


    Jul 14, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Back when Wilkenson was in business, I went through a few replacement bridges with them on my Tobias. The initial problems I had were the B and E string ball end holders would deform till they did not hold a string. They revised them with posts to hold into the ball ends.

    Still looking for that ideal bridge out there, but the aluminum wear, like the one you picture, still bothers me.
  6. Ben B

    Ben B Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I love my Carvin LB70, but it came with one of those Wilkinson bridges. Buzzed from the day I got it! I couldn't make it go away.

    I replaced it with a Schaller roller bridge. Carvin used these bridges before switching to Wilkinson. My other Carvin bass had one, so, I figured it was the way to go. It sounds great. No buzzing.

    When I swapped bridges, the 3 mounting holes lined up, so, no drilling was needed. But my bass is a 4 string. On the 5 string, you may have to drill new holes.

    Michael Uhler likes this.
  7. FF Petro

    FF Petro

    Feb 16, 2004
    I recently replaced my Wilky bridge with a Hipshot type B bridge. The Hipshot is a bit shorter from front to back, however, it's pretty maintenance free.

    It was a great upgrade and the bonus is you can make it string through body if you want!
  8. hsumit2002


    May 15, 2008
    I was wondering what did you replace your wilkinson bridge with. I'm leaning towards the hipshot-a, but getting a badass is also an option. I've been hearing a lot of good things about both of them.

    I also have an LB75 with the same type of bridge as yours. One of the "claws" on the front string holder on the g-string snapped off. I temporarily strung it on the back of the saddle (go figure), but I don't think it was meant for that even if it does work (so far). I'm also concerned about how much work will be needed filling up holes and drilling new holes for the screws. I don't feel like experimenting by doing the repair myself. But even so, I don't want to give the repair guy unnecessary work.

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